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Balancing Work and School

Admittedly, this is only a struggle that I've been dealing with for less than a year (next month is my workiversary for my first job in Cleveland!), but it is also probably the biggest factor when it comes to my stress and managing time. My first three semesters of college, the only thing I had to worry about was school. I'd work over the summers, save up all of my money, and would slowly dish it out as the year went by until I completely drained my savings come May when I came back home, only to start working again.

However, spring semester of my second year, getting a job while being at school became inevitable. There's only so much money that I can have saved before I get an itch and spend it all on stupid things (I'm sorry, lipstick collection, I don't really mean it). Having something else to tack onto school was a big adjustment I had to make and it got even more difficult once I started my third year. However, I think I've gotten the hang of it so far! Here's what I do to try to balance both work and school at the same time.

1. Keep separate to do lists

I am a to-do list kind of gal, so I keep separate lists for just about everything: house cleaning, schoolwork, and work work. This might not be necessary for most jobs, but mine has some online components, which means that I like to keep tabs on what I'm supposed to be posting and when. I keep my schoolwork in my agenda as well, but sometimes I split up my work if I have a long enough period between due dates, so I'll write a separate task or two on my to do list for the day. I find it's just easier to see when I'm done with work work and schoolwork and what not.

2. Bring your school work to work

This might not be possible for everyone, but if you can, bring your schoolwork with you. I was working at my other job during finals week, so I would bring my flashcards and study materials to work with me to utilize during the slower periods of the day. I knew people who used to lesson plan at work when it was slow. Make use of your free time!

3. School comes firsts

I mean, I feel like it goes without saying that school comes first. Some people might not live by this same sentiment, but in the long run, putting school first will pay off more than working that one shift. It sucks to call off or to not go to a work event because you've got school work to do, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it anyways.

4. Sleep

The only way to make sure that you're going to be awake and functioning during both school and work is coffee sleep. I do not nap and I like going to bed late and waking up early, but I'm slowly learning that the more sleep I get, the better I feel. Put your pride to rest and get some shut eye. You're not any cooler for staying up until two a.m. (unless you actually have trouble sleeping, and in that case, I'm sure there are alternatives for you!), so you might as well be well-rested so you're not a walking zombie.

5. Keep yourself focused

Easier said than done, I'm aware. Every person has their own way of keeping themselves focused on a task, so whichever method you use, utilize it. The more efficient you are with your time, the more free time you have. Sometimes I love to mess around and get side-tracked, but when I do it consistently, I waste so much time that I could have been doing other things. Try to get schoolwork done before or after work if possible. You might be tired, but then you won't have to worry about it later in the night or during one of your free periods during the rest of the week.

What's your best tip for balancing school and work? 


  1. I'm at university at the moment and I work on a freelance basis as well. What I've found really useful is just taking myself away from environments I associate with chilling out or not working, and then spending certain times of the day working on university work, and others on school. So, I almost compartmentalise my day depending on how much time I need to spend one each thing! I also keep separate to-do lists like you, and I have a separate daily to-do list where I only add three items at a time (so my mind doesn't get super muddled with it all!)

    Rashina xxx

    1. Ahhhh, gotta love compartmentalizing!
      Oooh, I like that idea of adding three items at a time to a list! Sometimes, if my list is super long, I get really nervous about it and don't want to start it because I'm afraid I won't finish it. I definitely need to try this out! Thank you so much for sharing! Best of luck with uni and freelancing! That's so cool! <3

    2. Agreed! What I usually do with the three items is I move them as I go along (I usually have so many things on my To-Do list so unless I actually focus it I just freak out and don't do anything!).So definitely try it. Have one for the day, choose three immediate things, and then don't erase or replace them until they're all done. Then replace with three other immediate things. Works really well!! Thanks! Let me know if you have any questions on freelancing- we should definitely compare notes! xxx Rashina

    3. That would make everything so much less overwhelming, I'm definitely going to have to get it a go. But I might have to pick your brain about freelancing someday! xoxoxo


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